Book Review – Doctor Who: The Dark Path

  • Title: The Dark Path
  • Series: Virgin Publishing Missing Doctor Adventures
  • Author: David A. McIntee
  • Characters:  Second Doctor, Jaime, Victoria
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 9/30/2013

The Dark Path is part of the now out-of-print Virgin Publishing Doctor Who The Missing Adventures, which was a series of original novels featuring Doctors 1-6 of the classic BBC television series Doctor Who. They were published at the same time as Virgin’s The New Adventures series, featuring original adventures of the Seventh Doctor, set after the televised story, “Survival”.

The Dark Path features the Second Doctor (played by Patrick Troughton), and his companions, Jaime, the Scottish Highlander, and Victoria, the young Victorian woman. They also run into the Master, as played by Roger Delgado. However, this isn’t the villain of the Jon Pertwee era, rather when the Doctor first runs into “Koschei” he’s delighted to meet his old school chum.

A lost colony, a terrible secret, and an even worse technology hide on a planet orbiting a neutron star on the far outer reaches of the galaxy. Just what is going on? Much of The Dark Path reads as a technological mystery as everyone tries to figure out what the “Dark Heart” is.

I enjoy mysteries, so I liked this book because it became a real “page-turner” to figure out what was going on. Several of the original characters to the novel were very well drawn, which I also enjoyed.

However, the novel also perfectly sets-up how “Koschei” will become “The Master”, and while it technically does deliver on that promise – I felt somewhat cheated. I wanted to see a more “real” explanation for what made “The Master” who he was. And yes, this novel was written in 1997, so at least a decade before Series Three of New Who, and must be taken as an “alternate history” or view of the character. Still, the novel leads the reader down one path as an explanation for the Master’s personality change, but then abandons that idea and goes with something much more pedestrian.

So this novel gets 3.5 stars. Still, it is an worthwhile read for fans of Doctor Who.

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